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Fingertip vascular function linked to cardiovascular risk factors in African-Americans

J Am Soc Hypertens. 2017 Jun;11(6):325-333.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2017.04.008. Epub 2017 May 4.

The relation of digital vascular function to cardiovascular risk factors in African-Americans using digital tonometry: the Jackson Heart Study.

McClendon EE1, Musani SK2, Samdarshi TE2, Khaire S2, Stokes D2, Hamburg NM3, Sheffy K4, Mitchell GF5, Taylor HR2, Benjamin EJ4, Fox ER6.

Author information 1Department of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Salem, NC, USA.2Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA.3Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.4Department of Medicine, Itamar Medical, Ltd, Caesarea, Israel.5Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Engineering Inc., Norwood, MA, USA.6Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA. Electronic address:


Digital vascular tone and function, as measured by peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT), are associated with cardiovascular risk and events in non-Hispanic whites. There are limited data on relations between PAT and cardiovascular risk in African-Americans. PAT was performed on a subset of Jackson Heart Study participants using a fingertip tonometry device. Resting digital vascular tone was assessed as baseline pulse amplitude. Hyperemic vascular response to 5 minutes of ischemia was expressed as the PAT ratio (hyperemic/baseline amplitude ratio). Peripheral augmentation index (AI), a measure of relative wave reflection, also was estimated. The association of baseline pulse amplitude (PA), PAT ratio, and AI to risk factors was assessed using stepwise multivariable models. The study sample consisted of 837 participants from the Jackson Heart Study (mean age, 54 ± 11 years; 61% women). In stepwise multivariable regression models, baseline pulse amplitude was related to male sex, body mass index, and diastolic blood pressure (BP), accounting for 16% of the total variability of the baseline pulse amplitude. Age, male sex, systolic BP, diastolic BP, antihypertensive medication, and prevalent cardiovascular disease contributed to 11% of the total variability of the PAT ratio. Risk factors (primarily age, sex, and heart rate) explained 47% of the total variability of the AI. We confirmed in our cohort of African-Americans, a significant relation between digital vascular tone and function measured by PAT and multiple traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Further studies are warranted to investigate the utility of these measurements in predicting clinical outcomes in African-Americans.

Copyright © 2017 American Society of Hypertension. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


blacks; endothelial function; risk factors

Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

Endothelial Function Scientific Update Sponsored by Endothelix Inc.


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